London is such a diverse city, some people may call it the food capital of the world. This is reflected by the infinite options of places to eat and drink. The convenience of chain restaurants is appealing to all of us, but it’s important and exciting to try something new! From this list you can probably tell that Asian Cuisine is my favourite, but I’ve also thrown in some bars and cafes too.
Named the “World’s best street food” by the Sunday Times, Yum Bun is one of my favourite places to eat in the city. With a varying menu at each of their five locations, they always provide delicious chinese inspired food. They are known for their steamed buns, which are filled with fresh ingredients of your choice. They have pork, fish, chicken, mushroom and tofu (my personal favourite) and have now starting selling sweet ice cream buns too. The stalls are all tiny, and the staff are lovely, so you’re guaranteed a great experience at Yum Bun. With traditional Chinese teas available as well, it’s a great experience of the culture. You can find their locations at Spitalfields Market, Canary Wharf, Canada Street, Great Eastern Street and Woolwich.
If you’re vegan, you're probably familiar with by CHLOE. It's an all plant based cafe and restaurant, but don't be put off this if you're a meat eater, because their food is so good you won't even notice it's lacking animal products. They pride themselves on offering ‘delicious, wholesome, plant-based food that fuels and energises without compromising flavour, taste or satisfaction’. With locations in NYC, LA, Boston as well as London, the founder Samantha Wasser has created a strong brand for the eatery, with their decor and food being seen all over instagram. This is no surprise as the food is always presented beautifully and the interiors are designed to perfection. Their menu is extensive, with choices from salads and soup to fast food and pasta. And because it’s all vegan, you don’t feel so bad about indulging. You can find their London restaurant in Covent Garden, with a new location opening soon in Tower Bridge.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa opening his first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1987, 30 years later he now has 39 locations worldwide and is Robert De Niro’s business partner. The food is incredible, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian, with Sushi being their renown offering. I recommend getting lots of small dishes and sharing with friends, as getting to experience as many different flavours as possible is the best way to enjoy Nobu. A few of my personal favourite dishes are the avocado salad, the tempura tofu and the crispy rice, but everything I have tried at Nobu has been amazing and I’ve never been disappointed. The “White Cotton Fizz” cocktail is delicious and the perfect way to finish a meal. Their London locations are Berkeley Street, Old Park lane and newly opened in Shoreditch.
Simmons have 12 locations across London now, so I'd be surprised if you aren't already familiar with this unique independent bar group. With each store having a different theme, reflected in it's stunning interior design, it's worth checking out a Simmons bar or two. Described by the Evening Standard as "a house party in the living room of an eccentric aunt", expect to have a great time. For me, it's rare to find this kind of atmosphere in bars across the city, so it's a great place to meet interesting people and not feel self conscious about dancing and having a good time! My personal favourite location is Mornington Crescent as the interiors are stunning, with the world's largest Skull mirror ball, game consoles and neon lights galore. But despite the interiors being the first thing that may catch your eye, the main attraction at Simmons is the cocktails. They offer a cheeky yet delicious menu with their own additions to classic cocktails, a few of my favourites are the Bikini Martini and the Bluebird.
They first opened their doors in 2004 with the aim to bring the best Mexican cuisine to Londoners and based upon the delicious, colourful and exciting food I had there, I’d say they certainly succeeded. With a restaurant on the ground floor and a tequila bar in the basement, it’s the perfect way to start an exciting night. They offer delicious Mexican Tapas which is perfect to share with friends, as well as some traditional main courses. I chose to share dishes with friends, trying the nachos, jaladas and queso fundido which were all a great introduction to Mexican cuisine for me. I highly recommend this restaurant as it’s perfect for a catch up with friends, sharing food and having tequila for dessert, what could be better? Find Mestizo on Hampstead Road.
So I hope this post has made you hungry, and given you a bit of inspiration for your next meal out!